Air drying a redwood slab

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Forum topic by Hnick posted 06-08-2017 01:40 PM 1761 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1125 days

06-08-2017 01:40 PM

I’m considering purchasing this large redwood slab and air drying it for several years before using it. It is 12/4 17’ long and over 3’ wide,I can get a better deal on it green but have concerns over drying it properly. I’m looking for a finished table in the 12-14’ length so I’m not worried about end checking. Even if I get some I can butterfly it. I am worried about bowing. I won’t have he other slabs from the log so I can’t sticker it, and I don’t have the room in my garage to lay it flat. For those experts out there do you think I can lay it on edge and get it to dry without warping?

2 replies so far

View AZWoody's profile


1477 posts in 1995 days

#1 posted 06-08-2017 02:49 PM

How it dries and whether it warps depends on the grain orientation and any stresses that were in the tree as it was growing.
Without knowing that, I would definitely lay it flat on stickers with a lot of weight on top of it. And when I mean a lot, I mean more than just some cinder blocks on top.
When I air dry slabs, I use 30 gallon drums of water sitting on top. Usually 1 drum for every 2 feet of length.

If you want to dry on it’s side, you could try to make some kind of frame that you can build around it that clamps the slab so it will not want to warp. Warping wood though has a lot of force and if it wants to warp, it’s going to warp.
I’ve gone into my shop and seen drums of water on the ground.

View Robert's profile


3742 posts in 2252 days

#2 posted 06-08-2017 03:36 PM

I’ve seen lots of sawmills dry lumber by vertical stacking. Around me, it used to be an old timey way of doing it.

I would just keep the angle as low as possible and strap it to wall for safety, maybe flip it every month or so.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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